'You Have to Give Back': Honoring MLK

Jan 15, 2018

2018 marks 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, but today we are honoring his life and work.


"I have a dream, that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'" Dr. King said what is probably his best known speech, delivered Aug. 28, 1963. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character. I have a dream today!"

"A lot of people talk about Dr. King’s dream. Everybody has a dream," Louisiana congressman Cedric Richmond said during a congressional tribute to King's legacy last week. "The question becomes whether you have the courage, the fortitude, and the willingness to sacrifice — to make that dream come true."

 

Richmond chairs the Congressional Black Caucus. During the tribute, he spoke of how Dr. King's work helped shape his own family's values and life.

 

"My mother is from the poorest place in the United States," Richmond said, referring to Lake Providence in East Carroll Parish. "She had 15 brothers and sisters, and all she had was a mother — a very dedicated mother, who woke up every day, that went and cleaned other people’s houses, to make sure that her 15 kids had an opportunity at a better future.

 

"My mother went to Southern University, and — because of the work of many people — was able to achieve an education, which is the best way to lift yourself out of poverty.

 

"And she instilled in me two things: one — you have to work hard. You have to do everything twice as good as everyone else so you can make it. And two — once you make it, you have an obligation to give back."

 

That idea of giving back is why so many church groups, civic groups and college students around this state are celebrating today; not as a day off, but a day on — in service to their communities and neighbors.